The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Monthly Archives: February 2014


Acquiring and adopting books

Each year around this time, the Folger hosts Acquisitions Night benefiting the Library’s Acquisitions program. Showcasing some of the most interesting, beautiful, and rare items we’ve purchased for the collection in the past year, the event invites donors to “adopt” selected items by reimbursing the Library their purchase prices. 1 The money made through adoptions is put back into the Acquisitions budget and used to purchase more rare materials for the remainder of the fiscal year.… Continue Reading

Where do family trees come from?

Why is a tree coming out of this dozing man’s belly, you may ask. When I began working on the Folger’s next exhibition, Symbols of honor: Family history and genealogy in Shakespeare’s England (July 1 to October 26, 2014), I wondered the same thing. Trevelyon Miscellany (1608), Folger MS V.b.232, fol. 57r: Jesse or Ysai, son of Obeth. Click on image to see full page.… Continue Reading

An Introduction to Web Archiving at the Folger

As a resident Digital Archivist at the Folger, I’ve been tasked with the management of Folger web archiving efforts. The Folger Shakespeare Library web collecting mission. Now, you might be asking: what is web archiving exactly? The International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) defines web archiving as the process of “collecting portions of the World Wide Web, preserving the collections in an archival format [most often via the WARC file format], and then serving the archives for access and use.” There are a number of ways to achieve this: from home-grown technical processes relying on a combination of open-source tools, to a number of vendor options which package popular web collecting and organization methods into one service.… Continue Reading

u/v, i/j, and transcribing other early modern textual oddities

When you’re encountering early modern texts for the first time, you might be surprised not only that they use such variable spelling (heart? hart? harte?) but they seem to use the wrong letters in some places. And then there are funny abbreviations! Even adept readers of early texts might stumble when it comes to making sense of some of this, especially when faced with producing transcriptions.… Continue Reading

V and U in 17th-century Flemish book titles

For many years bibliographers in Flanders have been speculating about the use of “V” in the place of “U” on title pages of early modern hand-press books. For the occasion of this blog post, I decided “TO TAKE VP THE GAVNTLET” in figuring out whether my friend Diederik Lanoye was right when he insisted that “everything happened in the sixties!” A Latin title page from 1602 (left) and one from 75 years later (right): the former has “V” representing “U” while the latter does not.… Continue Reading

An example of early modern English writing paper

The crocodile posted on Friday was correctly identified by Philip Allfrey as a watermark of Queen Elizabeth’s arms encircled by the Garter. In his comments, Mr Allfrey provided a useful account of how he identified the watermark and the letter on which it appears. He also went the extra mile and used various Folger databases and the Gravell Watermark Archive to identify the papermaker, John Spilman!… Continue Reading